Mayawati
Mayawati
Lucknow, June 19

BSP chief Mayawati on Monday said that while she does not subscribe to the political lineage of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, her party's stand on his presidential candidature will "be positive and certainly not negative".

In a statement, the four-time Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah and Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had telephonically informed her that Kovind will be the NDA candidate for the office of the President of India.

The Bahujan Samaj Party leader said since Kovind came from the Kori community, which though in small numbers was a part of Dalits, she would never oppose his candidature.

The Dalit leader also added that Kovind had strong linkage to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the BJP, something which she could not ever support.

She, however, hinted that if the opposition named a more popular Dalit leader, she would review her party's stand on Kovind.

The name of former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar is doing the rounds as the opposition candidate for the top post and BSP leaders say in such an eventuality their party would favour the Bihar woman politician.

Mayawati, however, rued that the government did not chose in good faith to consult opposition parties about its candidate and merely informed them about its choice.

She also mentioned that earlier the Rashtrapati Bhavan had a Dalit occupant in former President K.R. Narayanan and that it would have been better if the NDA had named any other "apolitical Dalit name" for the top constitutional job.

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